Monday, 26 September 2016

The Winemaker - a real art and much craft

It's the season to brew your own alcohol, be it wine, moonshine/palinka or something else.

We heard this year about a man from Tileagd that is making wine himself and we went to meet him.
OK, you'll say... so what's impressive about that?
Well he is 86 years old, he makes it all with his own hands and he has a wall full of awards from Vienna for the wine he is making. He was declared a Wine's Knight at contests in Vienna.
Aha? That's more interesting, right? :) Click on "read more" below the picture, to see the full story.

His name is Mr. Bereghi, apparently he is the only one involved in all that wine-making, and if you'll see the cellar of wine kegs and the place it's located in, you'll agree with us that this is impressive for an 86-year old man to do by himself.

86-year old Mr. Bereghi explaining the importance of wine
Hell! This is impressive even if he would be 30 years old and in full strength: his vine culture is located downhill from his cellar.
He makes the wine in the room above the cellar, but he has to carry himself all the grapes up-hill without having a car or other motorized vehicles to do that.
Can you imagine how many grapes you have to carry to fill all these kegs up?
Mr. Bereghi's wine cellar
In autumn you have to find the right moment to pick all the grapes and to process them properly.
Mr. Bereghi has several types of grapes, in order to make pure wine of all types. He likes the red wine more and when I told him I like the wine to be a bit sweeter he says: "real wine is not sweet".
Ok, now I feel stupid... but he continues: "the wine can't be sweet without adding sugar to it. I don't add sugar, I let the grapes do what they know best and keep it all as natural as possible. No additives."
Ok, fair is fair. I like that he's keeping it all natural, but feel a bit worried about drinking sour wine.
He insists that everyone that comes here has to taste his wine. In the end, we do want to buy some wine from him, so of course we have to taste it anyway! :)

Mr. Bereghi pouring some wine for us
We were expecting him to pour it in some plastic glasses, but "No way!" he says. He explains that the wine can NEVER be drank from such a glass. "You must give the wine the importance it has, you must respect it and taste it properly. Only a real wine-glass can do that. And only like this you can truly understand it's value and provenance." he explains.

I'm really starting to smile, I like the way he thinks and I like the way he behaves. A real gentleman is required to create a real valuable wine and the proper ambiance for drinking it.

You can imagine that it was not a big surprise in finding out the taste of the wine is absolutely AMAZING. Of course it is, why else would he have so many awards won? It's the best wine ever. So full, so complete in taste. Not even expensive wines from the stores have this lovely taste. And not sour at all. You can feel the grape's original sweet and pure taste in the wine.
We keep asking him about how he does it, how can he do it alone, is his family really not helping at all? He explains that he has no help, his wife is ill, she can't do this kind of work and his children have other things to do. They are not interested in conserving this as a family craft.

The vine culture in early Summer

The path on the left is descending from his cellar towards the place his vine is located, downhill
He explains that it's a really hard craft to make proper wine. You never know which year is good for which type of grapes. You don't know if all of them can be made. You don't know if they'll survive by the end of summer. And he says grapes need 2 things to grow properly: a lot of sun and a lot of love.
The place where the vine is located is also very important. He says not any place can grow good grapes, because the wind, the sun, the time it gets sun and other climatic factors are very important for a good culture.
 :) We could definitely feel the love he puts in his work by the way he talks about it, the way he introduced us step by step to his property and how he explained to us that we must respect wine. 

He is right, good wine deserves great respect, and the one who managed to make it that good deserves even more respect!
I'm really happy we met Mr. Bereghi. We sure will recommend his wine to everyone. I wish we would have met him years ago, so we could benefit of his lovely wine much more. But it's never to late! Hopefully he will have a long and healthy life. He said that the trick on living 100 years is to drink daily a glass of red wine. Well, being 86 years old he might be the living proof he is right! 

We did not get to visit him at home, where he has all his decorations but we think you must see them to believe us! So the photos below are a courtesy of a friend of ours: Saracut Gheorghe that had visited him before we did. Thank you! :)
Mr.Bereghi's trophies, photo by Saracut Gheorge
Photo by Saracut Gheorghe

PS: beside being a great gentleman, with great skills and loads of patience and sense of humor. Mr. Bereghi also has a great heart. He has found a dog left on a leash tied to a pole in his way to his cellar was, and he has adopted him noticing that nobody came to give him food or water for several days. The dog is as grateful as you may expect and pays him back with being a great watchdog and a lovely friend:

The dog being thankful after his recent meal :)

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